A friend who was travelling through Paris on his way home to Germany mentioned that his neighbor would be making dinner for him when he got back that evening. I congratulated him on having such a nice neighbor, and he chuckled before explaining that he had simply called her earlier in the day to say that his fridge was empty, his apartment cold, and to ask whether she would be willing to share her dinner with him!
She was only too happy to help out.
How many times have you found out after the fact that someone could have used your help, but didn’t ask? How often have you said something like: «I would have picked you up!» or «why didn’t you tell me?» or «why didn’t you call – I would have done it with pleasure!»
In such circumstances we often feel cheated, that it’s a pity that our friends don’t reach out to ask for our help. On the other hand very often we don’t ask for help ourselves, as we prefer not to ‘bother’ someone.
How about if you dared to ask? Rather than killing two birds with one stone, you might just make TWO people happy with one request.
Until very recently, whenever somebody mentioned the word “muse”, I immediately associated it with the following image: a scantily clad Rubenesque female form, lasciviously draped on a chaise-longue with a come-hither look. No idea where that came from, but that is what came to mind whenever I heard the word ‘muse’.
So I was a bit taken aback when one of my business partners told me with earnest enthusiasm that I was a muse for him.
What?! How dare he! Still, before busting him in the chops, I googled the actual meaning of the word. And I found out what most people already know. The definition of a muse is simply someone who inspires or who offers good advice!
I knew from feedback over the years that I am often an inspiring consultant and trainer for my clients, but being their MUSE put a new edge on things, in both the way I saw myself and how I viewed my business. I am not convinced that I’ll change the title on my business cards, but knowing that I am a muse to someone definitely inspires me to give my best.
And you? What title would inspire you to give more of your best?
A while back my friend and I caught ourselves drooling over a travel brochure for horseback riding. For years we’ve been dreaming about combining our passion for riding with some kind of safari. But where? When? Which travel agent?
Jokingly, I suggest that we should do the trip in November in order to escape the greyness of the weather in Paris at that time of year. She liked that idea, and then built on it by quoting Walt Disney:
« The difference between a dream and a project is a deadline. »
With that, our dream of riding through sumptuous landscapes looking for wild animals had become a project. The train was moving. Good-bye catalogues. Hello saddle sores!
And you? Do any of your dreams need a deadline?
A dear friend with a rich spiritual life says that our mission in life is to learn how to love. He says it’s part of the contract while we are here. And, if we don’t succeed, our soul comes back – again and again – until it learns the lesson. In short, hell.
“Why don’t you say ‘I love you’ to the people who are dear to your heart”, he challenges me. “And don’t limit it to just your family!”
“And, when someone says ‘I love you’ to you, don’t offer a cowardly, ‘me too’! Say it back. You’ll see that the energy released by these three little words is incredibly powerful. You can say ‘I love you’ to a lot of people, without having to marry all of them”, he adds with a smile.
His challenge made me curious, so I started with a few people who already know that I am a little bit nuts. I tried a variety of different ways: face-to-face, by text message, and by email. The results have been absolutely incredible. Everyone I reached out to was touched by my offering, and without exception they reciprocated with warmth and enthusiasm.
Give it a try and see what happens. Don’t do a bulk mailing to all of your contacts, of course; start with people you sincerely care about and see how it goes. I’d love to hear about your experience, whatever happens!
Recently we went on an amazing trip with a group of our friends. One couple did all the organizing for the group, and they made sure that the trip was always logistically smooth but also full of wonderful surprises.
Even though each of us had paid our share to make the trip happen, one of our party suggested that we should perhaps reward our organizers with ‘a little something’ to thank them for doing all the organizing.
We were all ready to agree, when another member of the group piped up and demanded, « Why ‘little’, after all they’ve done? »
Why little indeed?
Why a little gift? Similarly, why a little hug, a little idea, or a little beer?
Why limit ourselves to a good idea when we can have a fantastic idea instead? Why have a small beer when I am really thirsty? Why a little hug when I need a big fat comforting one?
Using this kind of ‘softening’ word has a tendency to sneak into our discourse about all kinds of things, and takes the power out of our speaking. What would happen if we spoke clearly: asked for what we really wanted, said what we really meant?
Try this: count how often you use qualifiers like, « a little », « a bit », and « kind of ». Then get rid of them – so that your life gets back its intensity and greatness!